In order to make the public aware of the campaign and to help promote September as National Infant Mortality Month there will be some round table discussions beginning at 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.,, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.
The event will be held at the Hayti Community Center located at 600 East Washington which is across from Fred's Discount Store. Featured panelists include local providers, government officials, consumers, and community and faith based leaders. Guest speaker will be Dr. Erica Scheffer, M.D., with Bootheel Primary Care in Caruthersville, Mo.
The main focus of the campaign is to increase the awareness of the public concerning the high rate of infant mortality in Dunklin, Pemiscot, New Madrid, Mississippi, and Scott Counties.
There will be door prizes available for those in attendance which will include a drawing for a family/infant basket as well as gift cards.
In a previous report, statistics showed that in 2010, 566 Missouri infants never reached their first birthday and most of those infants were of African-American descent.
Those that officials hope to target as an audience include, Healthy Start Case Management clients, Healthy Baby Class participants, Regional Consortium Consumers and members, Southeast Missouri Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition, Fatherhood First Advisory Board. Additionally, some information presented may be especially beneficial for Community Outreach workers, Social Service agencies, faith based organizers as well as health providers, according to event planners.
Recognition has been given to the month long campaign by the signing of five proclamation signings which included:
* Sept. 17- Charleston Mo., (Mississippi County);
* Sept. 18- Kennett, Mo. (Dunklin County);
* Sept. 19- Portageville, Mo. (New Madrid County).
On Sept. 24, there will be a proclamation signing in Sikeston, Mo. (Scott County) and the culmination is the signing by Governor Jay Nixon on Sept. 25 in Jefferson City, Mo.
According to reports, infant mortality is a serious issue that affects the health of the nation. As a way of raising awareness, the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) developed a campaign called, "Celebrate Day 366...Every Baby Deserves a Chance." This is to celebrate those children who have lived beyond their first year of life. Since infant mortality is so high across the nation, this is considered to be a huge accomplishment in many families.
During September, NHSA also promotes ongoing programs and their effectiveness as well as efforts that are implemented to help with the reduction of infant deaths, low-birth weight, pre-term births and disparities in prenatal outcomes all year round.
"Celebrate Day 366 helps to support and inspire people from around the country to take action in supporting the Healthy People 2020 goal which is for the improvement and well-being of women, infants, children and their families.
People are urged to join with the NHSA and be part of the generation that makes sure that each baby has the chance, to take their first step, to say their first word, to graduate from college, to become President and to celebrate Day 366.
For more information regarding the event please call (573) 471-9400 or toll free at 1 (888) 317-4949, 903 South Kingshighway, Suite A, Sikeston, Mo. 63801, or by visiting the website at www.mbrcinc.org.
The event is sponsored by Missouri Bootheel Healthy Start Regional Consortium and Southeast Missouri Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition.
* Some information has been sourced from nationalhealthystart.org.